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Cross-age learning: The impact on the tutor and the tutee

1 January 1996


Cross-age classrooms are being developed throughout our school systems. Although they have been used throughout the history of education, it wasn't until twenty years ago that the benefits for the students were really acknowledged. Literature supports the use of cross-age learning as an effective technique. I chose to use The Role-Model Theory as a framework on which to base my investigation into the results of a cross-age learning environment. For a student, playing the role of a tutor produces changes in self-concept, attitudes, and cognitions. The recipient students will learn more easily from their peers because they can easily identify with them.

Through the observations of two different cross-age learning environments in a suburban, southwest Beaverton elementary school, I looked for effects, whether positive or negative, on the students involved. These observations were made in two different environments, a cross-age classroom, and a multi-age learning center. My research consisted of observations of classrooms, student interactions, and informal interviews and questionnaires of the teachers involved.

It is my intention that the following paper can and will provide some valuable insight into how one can incorporate a cross-age learning environment into their own classroom. In addition, I hope to open the eyes of educators to the positive influence this type of learning environment has on the students involved.


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